Call us hasty, but Nurburgring lap records might be getting too niche. Gone are the days where one car would claim to be the fastest production car to lap the ‘Ring and that’d be that. Now, there’s the fastest front-wheel-drive car (the ridiculously hardcore two-seat Renault Megane RS Trophy-R), the fastest four-door (Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S) and the fastest SUV (Audi RS Q8), plus plenty of others.
Porsche has decided it wants another Nordschleife lap record, so it’s pushed the new Panamera to its limits to set the, ahem, highly coveted award of the fastest executive car. If this is where we’re heading, you might soon be reading about the Nurburgring’s fastest van-based MPV or something.
It may be a saloon, but the Panamera carries Porsche badges and needs to live up to those. This pre-production model, thought to be the new Turbo S, looks seriously quick and impressively composed on the German racetrack. At points the footage looks like it’s been sped up, such is the bonkers speed that test driver Lars Kern is carrying.
The new Turbo S will sit between the Turbo and the Turbo S E-Hybrid. Judging by this video it’s set to have over 600bhp and over 590lb ft of torque. Those figures come courtesy of a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 connected to four-wheel drive. There have also been suspension upgrades to cope with the extra power.
The Panamera lapped the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 29.81 seconds, which is nine hundredths of a second quicker than the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8. It’s less than two seconds off the times recorded by the Lamborghini Huracan, McLaren 12C and Porsche Carrera GT, which just shows how rapid this tech-filled four-door saloon is. Porsche says it’s about 13 seconds quicker than the old car.
But we reckon Porsche might be a little disappointed. Y’see, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S was only four seconds quicker - and that was enough to claim the four-door lap record. That’s probably why the Panamera is the fastest ‘executive car’, although you could easily argue that the AMG GT 4-door is a posh exec car too. As we said, these records are getting tenuous.
What’s your take on the 21st Century’s original controversial Porsche? Has it come of age? Have you grown to like it? Are you, gasp, actually excited for the facelifted Panamera, set to be revealed in a few days’ time? We wouldn’t be surprised if you were…